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The Team

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Carla Nowosad

Principal Investigator | Head of Lab

Carla is the Principal Investigator of the Mucosal B Cell lab at NYU Langone Grossman School of Medicine, department of Pathology. Carla has long been obsessed with B cells and how they respond to their environment. She loves to build new tools to visualize B cells communicating, responding and evolving.

Carla is a Polish/Italian Brit, who got her PhD in London before moving to the US for her postdoctoral studies. Carla has a deep love for New York City, slowly eating, strolling and dancing her way around town. Carla loves creative and driven people, and strives to build a team of diverse thinkers to help grow the future of science.

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Luan Firmino Cruz

Post-Doctoral Fellow

Luan got his Immunology and Inflammation PhD in Rio de Janeiro before joining the Mucosal B Cell lab in 2022 as its first postdoctoral fellow. Luan has worked in the B cell field since 2015 in the contexts of parasitic infection and vaccines against leishmaniasis and COVID-19.


Luan’s new scientific adventures center around understanding how TLR signaling works in intestinal B cells. He is very resourceful when it comes to problem solving - a trait which stems from his Brazilian heritage. A nature lover, Luan is now discovering himself as a city enthusiast in the ‘concrete jungle’ of the Big Apple.

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Tarunya Menon

Student Intern

Tarunya is a current Master’s student pursuing Biotechnology Engineering at New York University.  She aspires to live in a World where quality healthcare is equally accessible to everyone. Being a fan of unsolved mysteries and conspiracy theories, her level of curiosity extends well beyond the textbook to ask some of the more critical unsolved questions in science. She believes that immortality and a permanent cure for cancer are achievable in her lifetime, and her contribution is definitely be something to look out for!

Currently she's working on understanding some of the fundamentals of B cell signaling in the gut. On the other hand, you can find her binging true-crime documentaries and podcasts in her free time. She also enjoys cooking with friends while jamming to Bollywood music.

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Janet Olivas

Graduate Student

Janet is graduate student pursing a doctorate in Immunology & Inflammation at New York University. She received her B.S. in Cellular and Molecular Biochemistry from University of Texas at El Paso. She is from El Paso, Texas and grew up In Cd. Juarez Chih, Mexico. She worked during her undergrad in the development of a prophylactic a-Gal-based glycovaccine against parasitic Chagas Disease. Later she did a postbaccalaureate at the National institutes of Health understanding the mechanism of Malaria parasite-vector and host interactions to identify new targets for vaccine development and interventions.


Janet’s new scientific adventures centers around understanding GC development and signaling in the gut. During her free time, you can find Janet enjoying a walk around the city, enjoying  museums and restaurants.

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Gina Sanchez

Post Doctoral Fellow

Gina received her PhD at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School in Biomedical Sciences in 2023 with a focus in germinal center B cells in systemic autoimmunity. Not yet done with germinal center biology, she joined the Mucosal B Cell lab in 2023 to examine germinal center B cell signaling in the intestine at both steady-state and in IBD. She also is continuing her love of microscopy by learning a series of techniques to mimic cell-cell contacts for the purposes of examining B cell signal transduction microscopically!


When she isn’t thinking about germinal center biology, Gina is probably reading a book or learning about the latest true crime cases trying to be the civilian who cracks the case! This has expanded her ability to think critically of information presented to her, which is of great help in her scientific endeavors.

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Lab Alumni

Sigrid Eisner

Audrey Thomas

Lucía Contreras Malo de Molina

Erasmo Daniel Leon Lopez

Thomas Heaney

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